First Alert 4 Investigates after millions of people’s data compromised, including local Medicare recipients

It’s one of the largest cyber-attacks in history and you might be one of the millions of people impacted.
Published: Sep. 5, 2023 at 10:26 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- It’s one of the largest cyber-attacks in history and you might be one of the millions of people impacted.

Experts said the cyber-attack was so bad even the most sensitive health information stored by the federal government was stolen!

“Very angry, very frustrated. you know, it makes you just lose faith in the system,” said Aundray Wright.

Wright told First Alert 4 Investigates he couldn’t believe the letter he received a few weeks ago.

“I was freaked out. I was like, ‘What is this?’ and I read it carefully, and then I read it again.”

The letter told him there had been a security vulnerability and as a Medicare recipient, Wright’s personal information had been compromised.

“It’s everything on me,” he said.

It’s just the sheer volume of it, Wright said, that’s shocking. He’s been left in knots over it and is concerned that the federal government’s contractors are to blame.

“It’s caused me to have a lot of nervousness, panic attacks, hard to sleep at night, you know because I’m constantly thinking about this,” he said. “I should not have to go through something like this and worry every day what could happen or what may happen or what’s going to happen.”

“I mean, this is a criminal’s dream to have that information, not just for identity theft, but for extortion of individuals, as well,” said Scott Granneman, a cyber security expert and professor at Webster University.

It’s already known who did it. the ransomware gang known as cl0p. It wasn’t just the federal government impacted. It was a software called MOVEit, used to transfer sensitive data over the internet. By hacking that software, the cl0p gang compromised the data of 600 organizations globally, with Reuters estimating an impact to 40 million people.

“Pretty much any sort of personal identification information that you would not want anyone else to have is now owned by cl0p, the ransomware gang, it’s bad stuff,” said Granneman.

But, he said, the fact that the federal government has outsourced so much, means even Medicare got hit.

“That’s the problem. We’re so interconnected with everything, and we farmed it out with so many different organizations, that becomes a problem,” he said.

Freezing your credit could help protect you but otherwise, “If your data is somewhere and there’s a vulnerability and the bad guys have been able to siphon all of it out, there’s not much you can do,” Granneman said.

Ransomware attacks like these, he said, are only getting bigger.

Even Wright is now left wondering what will happen next.

You can read more about the CL0P gang, here.